A boy waves the Haitian flag at the beginning of an anti-election demonstration on Dec. 4 in downtown Port-au-Prince. (Jacob Kushner for Infosurhoy.com)

Haiti: Presidential election heads to runoff

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Mirlande Manigat and Jude Célestin are the top vote-getters of Haiti’s troubled presidential election and will compete in a Jan. 16 runoff, according to preliminary results announced by Haiti’s electoral council (CEP) on Dec.7.

The winner will oversee the about US$10 billion pledged by international donors in post-earthquake reconstruction aid as Haiti’s next president, replacing René Préval.

Click HERE to see the full story as it appeared at Info Sur Hoy.


Demonstrators against the election results start fires in Port-au-Prince. -Jacob Kushner

Election controversy overshadows humanitarian crisis and recovery

Haiti’s election was supposed to further its democratic legacy by selecting a new president to lead the nation’s post-earthquake reconstruction. Instead, it’s become a huge distraction from that herculean task. Demonstrations are frequent: thousands of protesters have taken to the streets, chanting antigovernment slogans and setting fire to tires and barricades to protest the disputed results. All this is going on as the nation’s cholera epidemic continues to infect more than 1,000 people a day, and the 1.3 million Haitians still living in unsanitary tent camps since last January’s earthquake feel forgotten.

Click HERE to read the full story as it appeared at Newsweek.


Presidential candidates lead protest against disputed Haiti election

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP)- Frustrated presidential candidates led a march through Haiti’s capital Thursday to demand officials annul an election they say was tainted by fraud.

At least four of 19 candidates on Sunday’s ballot walked with hundreds of supporters to an electoral council office. They denounced electoral officials, President Rene Preval and the ruling Unity party’s candidate, state construction company chief Jude Celestin, chanting: “Prison for Preval, liberty for Haiti!”

“These were not elections. People were not allowed to vote and there was stuffing of the election boxes … We need democratic elections,” candidate Charles Henri-Baker, a factory owner, told The Associated Press.

The presidential hopefuls were part of a group of 12 candidates who called for voting to be canceled while polls were open, alleging the election was rigged in favor of Celestin.

Click HERE to read the full Associated Press story as it appeared at the Star Tribune.

Samdy Pascal, 18, says she has no faith in her government's ability to implement U.S. reconstruction funds. -Jacob Kushner

U.S. aid divides candidates, voters in Haiti’s elections

The Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation is on the verge of receiving one of the largest sums of foreign disaster relief dollars history—and 19 people are eager to administer it as they contend for Haiti’s presidency on November 28.

Samdy Pascal is decidedly less excited. The eighteen-year-old mother who lost her home and her school in the January earthquake has no job, so she spends her days scrubbing clothes in front of her makeshift shack not far from the mountain of rubble that was once Haiti’s national palace. Behind her stands a statue of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who led the nation to independence from France two centuries ago.

“All of my life, I listen and I read in the books about Dessalines and Haiti’s independence. But I don’t think Haiti is an independent country because we still have the same problems,” says Pascal. “We can’t find anything to eat, to drink, to go to the hospital is a problem, we don’t have any house to live in. The foreign NGOs have to receive the money because they can do better than the government. I don’t think we have independence.”

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Samdy Pascal, 18, says she has no faith in her government’s ability to implement U.S. reconstruction funds. -Jacob Kushner



VIDEO: Haiti’s Students: Out of School for 10 Months

[flashvideo file=video/haiti_education.flv image=http://www.jacobkushner.com/video/haiti_education.jpg /]

Click HERE to see the video as it appeared at Newsweek.com

SPECIAL REPORT: Haiti—Why Vote for a Woman?

SPECIAL REPORT: Haiti—Why Vote for a Woman?

We interviewed the two women who represent the pink vote in Haiti’s presidential election—plus one who didn’t make the electoral cut—to ask, “Why should Haitian women vote for you?”

World Pulse Magazine

Click HERE to read exclusive interviews with Josette Bijou, Mirlande Manigat, and Claire Lydie-Parent.


Haiti cholera outbreak: blame game begins

Residents of a camp for displaced Haitians fill jugs with clean water, Oct. 26, 2010. An outbreak of cholera has killed nearly 300 people. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Nine days into a cholera epidemic that has killed at least 303 and infected more than 4,700, Haitians are holding their breath and waiting to see if the outbreak can be stopped.

Haiti’s humanitarian relief organizations are posed to call their response to the outbreak a success, pointing to the quick mobilization of doctors to affected areas and sufficient stockpiles of IV bags. So far the disease hasn’t spread through Haiti’s tent camps where 1.3 million people still live, and the organizations are hopeful they’ll soon be able to contain the outbreak.

But critics say Haiti’s gruesome brush with cholera represents a failure by these groups whose job is to prevent exactly this type of disaster in the first place.

Click HERE to see the full story as it appeared at the Global Post.

Health workers fight to contain Haiti cholera outbreak

By Jacob Kushner

The Associated Press

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—A spreading cholera outbreak in rural Haiti threatened to outpace aid groups as they stepped up efforts Saturday hoping to keep the disease from reaching the squalid camps of earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince.

Health officials said at least 208 people had died and 2,394 others were infected in an outbreak mostly centred in the Artibonite region north of the capital.

But the number of cases in towns near Port-au-Prince were rising, and officials worried the next target will be hundreds of thousands of Haitians left homeless by January’s devastating quake and now living in camps across the capital.

Click HERE to read the full AP story as it appeared at TheStar.com